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Roxana Daneshjou with her child on the left and Sayona Freeman with her children on the right.

Mother’s Day is a time of celebration and reflection for many families. At Tahirih, at least 28% of our clients were mothers in 2022, and many of our staff and supporters are mothers or mother figures.

We asked Sayona K. Freeman (pictured right) and Roxana Daneshjou (pictured left), two Tahirih Advisory Council Members in the San Francisco Bay Area and mothers, to reflect on their experiences of motherhood, what they’ve learned about motherhood from working with Tahirih, and share a message of empowerment for Tahirih clients who are mothers.


What does Mother’s Day mean to you?

Sayona: Mother’s Day to me means reflecting on the year of parenting and looking ahead to many more opportunities of growth for me and my 4 kids. It’s also the time of year that my family shows and voices their appreciation for my contributions to our family.

Roxana: Mother’s Day is about the amazing, strong women in my life – my mother and grandmothers. My mother left Iran due to the Iranian revolution, which led to increasing persecution for Baha’is like her and her family. She sought a better, safer life in the United States. Because of her bravery and sacrifices, I was born here.


How do you raise a feminist child?

Sayona: A feminist child is born from the examples we set as parents and how we narrate the world for them. Children ask so many questions and how we phrase our answers can really allow a child to reflect on the world through the eyes of justice and equality.

Roxana: I remind my daughter constantly that she is deeply loved and can do anything. We have also bought books with the stories of extraordinary women – scientists, artists, leaders, and activists.


What have you learned about motherhood from your work and interactions with Tahirih?

Sayona: I’ve learned that motherhood is so much more than just raising children. Tahirih has taught me that it is also the sacrifices we make in order to provide the safest and most nurturing environment for our children. The mothers that I have met and worked alongside at Tahirih have shown me the commonality of motherhood, womanhood and just being a human being on this beautiful journey of life.

Roxana: When I hear the stories of the brave mothers that Tahirih supports, it always makes me cry. I know a mother would do ANYTHING to protect and create a better life for her child. I am so grateful that Tahirih supports these brave, heroic mothers.


Many of our clients are mothers or mother-figures. If you could share one message of empowerment with them this Mother’s Day, what would it be?

Sayona: Mothers are the first protectors and educators of children. The bravery and resilience that you have shown as mothers and even as daughters, are an inspiration to everyone around you and especially those at Tahirih that you have allowed to accompany you through your journey.

Roxana: A mother’s love is the most powerful force in the world.